It is always advised to study the portions regularly so that you just need to revise it at the time of exams.

However, it is quite common for students to skip their regular study sessions and indulge in fun activities.


Exams turn out a nightmare for such students and the exam pressure takes away their confidence level.

And they would end up worrying about the lost time in the past when they could have prepared well.

For those who are struggling to finish off the exam syllabus in the last few weeks, these last-minute exam preparation strategies might help.

1. Focus on your Weak Areas

You may be good at some subject areas whereas weak in some other areas.

So focus better on your weak areas at first and you can keep aside the areas in which you are good at, last on the list so that you can cover it easily.

2. Give Attention To Core Areas

Have a detailed look into the exam syllabus and spend more time and attention on the core areas.

Make a list of the subject areas that have more weightage for marks and give an additional focus to these areas in your last minute preparation which can help you to score better.

3. Revise Within 24 Hours

Once you study a certain portion in the exam syllabus for the first time, it is better to revise it within the next 24 hours to retain it in memory.

This helps you to recap, review and reinforce the new information and you can recall it much faster.

4. Try Visual or Audio Aids

You can mix up the learning style to make the study phase more productive. Instead of just studying the textbooks and notebooks always, try to include some visual and audio aids that help to register the learning content better.

This can even be your own audio or video recording in which you pretend to teach someone else.

5. Shift Between Subject Categories

While having exam preparation, First, have a look at the entire syllabus to cover and categorize it into three groups.

Also Read: 13 Ways To Deal With The Exam Stress

This includes contents that need interpretation like literature papers, the syllabus that is memory dependant like history and geography and lastly problem-solving subjects such as mathematics.

For a long study time to be effective, you can switch between these subject categories.

6. Create a Mind Map

A well-organized mind map can help you to study more efficiently and quickly during the last minute preparation.

This study tool helps you to connect between ideas or concepts pretty better during the final revision.

A mental association through this means helps you to recall the information better during the exams.

7. Read and write

Speed reading is good for understanding a subject faster.

So first read out the important points loud and write it down on a paper so that you are going through the content thrice, first by reading, then listening and finally by writing which makes a better impact.

8. Practice Past Year Exam Papers

Invest some time to practice the exam papers of past few years. Also, mark out the questions that tend to repeat quite often and prepare well on those questions to get some guaranteed marks.

9. Create Flash Cards

This is a tested and proven study tool for a better exam preparation during your final study hours. This helps to enhance your visual learning abilities and improve your memory recall.

You can test yourself using flash cards to analyze the areas that need additional revision.

10. Last-Minute Study Groups

It would be a good idea to be part of last-minute study groups of your friends or classmates.

You can discuss the important topics to be covered in exams, expected questions and new study hacks to study smarter.

You can have a fun, interactive study session where you can quiz and test each other and teach each other. However, make sure that you don’t divert the topics away from learning.

11. Have a Clear Overview of Exam

It is important to have a proper overview of the exam you are preparing for.

This includes the exam format, duration of the exam, the question patterns as well as the guidelines to be followed.

This helps you to avoid any last minute confusions and approach the exam with good confidence.

12. Create a Personal Study Guide

Rather than depending on other study guides, a personalized study guide can help you to study better and faster in your last minute.

Prepare such a guide well in advance that covers the particular areas that you need to focus and require additional revision.

13. Block out Possible Distractions

Make sure that there are no disruptions in your study environment which may easily divert you from learning. See that you are away from gaming gadgets, TV and even mobiles and laptops unless you are using it for study purpose.

Also, block any friends or relatives that may come up with some fun plans in your last minute study time.

14. Schedule Recovery Time

If you have exams for continuous days, make sure that you have enough recovery time every day.

Proper sleep and rest are needed to recharge your brain and appear fresh for the exam.

Having a sleepless night busy with studies can interfere with the process. Also eat well and do minimal exercise to stay fit and fresh for the next day’s exam.

15. Rest between Back-to-Back Exams

You will have to undergo back to back exams on a tight schedule at times.

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So know the exam timetable well in advance and plan the study time accordingly so that you get enough rest between the exam days. Or else you will be worn out and may not be able to produce even what you know during the exams.

16. Take Regular Study Breaks

Avoid studying continuously for hours as the attention span of a student is less.

That is why it is important to take regular study breaks in between and make the sessions short.

Just dragging the study session with less concentration is not going to be productive.

17. Exercise between study breaks: Instead of watching TV or chatting with your friends that may distract you from studies, better invest that time for exercise that boosts your energy level and concentration for the next study session. Even 5 to 10 minutes of physical exercise can keep you fit for the learning.

18. Rest Your Hands

If the exam needs a lot of writing, make sure that you give proper rest to your hands the days before the exam.

A tired hand can affect the speed and performance in the exam.

You can even try using stress relief ball or toy during the time and take it with you in the exam hall if permitted.

19. Have Proper Food Habits

You should be physically healthy to prepare well for the exam and to perform well.

So maintain good food habits like not skipping breakfast, avoiding junk food and including more vegetables and fruits that enhances your brain function.

Also, drink lots of water throughout the day that keeps you hydrated and fresh and minimizes the possibilities of any illness at exam time.

20. Prepare last-Minute Review Notes

Just like the study guide, it is important to prepare last-minute review notes while you study it early.

This helps you to just glance through the notes just before the exam and revise your memory.

Include the concepts or terms you often struggle in these review notes and have a look at it before you go.

21. Plan Your Exam Day

Also, it is important for you to plan the exam day well in advance. Pack your bag with all required items such as hall ticket, pen, calculator and last minute study guides the night before the exam.

Also plan your schedule like when you will wake up, what time you get ready and reach the exam venue to avoid last minute hurry.

22. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Just like studying well for the exam, having a good night’s sleep of at least 8 hours the previous day is very important to perform well. This keeps you physically and mentally fresh and relaxed and you can appear for the exam with a boosted memory.

Hope these study hacks can help the students to sort out their last-minute exam preparation struggles.

However, nothing can replace the continuous hard work and determination of a student to perform well.

Even when these tips and tricks can save you to an extent, a dedicated study plan and regular practice are important to edge out the competitors and score top marks.

Also Read: Why Do Students Fail? – Faculty’s Perspective

Mind mapping is a very common approach in various industries to externalise and visualise the difficult concepts in its simplest form. This innovative thinking tool is one of the best methods followed so far to connect easily between ideas and relations. By considering its success rates, the strategy is widely being adopted in the teaching and learning areas. Many of the studies have reported a positive learning experience when mind mapping is made part of the study life.

Here let us have a look at what exactly is a mind map and how students can make use of them in their learning phase.

What Is A Mind Map?

This innovative tool is a great option when it comes to understanding and absorbing data in the optimal form. This pictorial representation of information gives an overview of complex data or a topic in the first look itself. This map usually starts off with a central idea and then gets surrounded by associated branches of related topics. The central idea can be represented using a word or image which is then extended outwards to sub topics or ideas. The topics and branches with different ideas can be represented using different colors for easy understanding. When used in the right way, it improves independent learning and critical thinking. This is an absolute time saving strategy during several phases of your study life.

To learn more about how students can better use the mind maps and how it makes a remarkable difference in their learning progress, take a look at the key points.

  1. Take notes better: The mind map strategy helps students to take notes in a better form. This aids them to revise the lessons during exam times with minimal effort. Remembering a lot of facts and figures covered in the syllabus would be really tough for the students. Mind map allows organizing this information in a better to understand form. They can do it by using keywords and then visually connecting the ideas and facts. Having all important topics in a single sheet of paper makes it easy for students to go back to the lessons easily and review them.
  1. Project planning: This area of study requires good organization of both thoughts and time. A good mind map makes the job easy for you and you can complete each phase of your project step by step in a well structured way. The talking points to be covered in the project can be presented in a very interactive way using this visualization tool. Moreover, it can act as a simplified content management system that helps you to access necessary information from a centralized location.
  1. Problem solving: Seeing things clearly is the key to analyze it on a better way. Instead of stressing your head to find a solution, take it on a lighter note using a mind map. This is the right way to watch out the many options and possibilities that can be used effectively to solve the puzzle or problem. During the process of problem solving, you can keep on refining the map by taking into account the incoming thoughts to draw out a realistic or the most practical solution. Moreover, this lets the students to look at the problems from a different angle and work it out better.
  1. Exam study plans: Exams are one of the toughest phases for most of the students. Remembering piles of notes can be a scary dream. However, the mind map strategy can be used to visually represent only the main topics in simple forms. You can also form small mind maps for each topic separately. You can cover more lessons easily in this approach and have an idea about the lessons covered so far. You just need to glance through the main mind map before the exam and fill up the rest from the memory. The mental triggers of this tool let the brain to memorize the stuff in a more effective manner.
  1. Brainstorm ideas easily: This amazing tool lets you brainstorm your ideas or thoughts in an organic manner without bothering about structure and order. When the ideas are structured visually, it is really easy for student to make the analysis and recall. A student brain can easily pick up organized diagrams than a bulk or pile of data. This powerful tool lets you do a creative work out of your brain and think more progressively by gearing up an imaginative mindset. This is in fact a free thinking strategy in which students can visualize the ideas from a deeper level.
  1. Connect ideas efficiently: Making a good connection between the ideas learnt throughout different lessons or sessions is important to have an upper hand over the subject. This is really important when it comes to memorizing the lesson segments during exams. The mind map helps you to make central concept and build an intuitive framework around it. When information gathering and applying facts is possible in its simplest form, connecting ideas becomes really easy than you think. The radiant structure of the mind maps can correspond well to the way the brain process information.
  1. Assess situations better: When it comes to complex situations in the lessons, this radical tool helps you to assess the data points better and move on pretty easily. Let it be any confusing situation of any subject area, taking out a few minutes to draw out a mind map with relevant facts and figures helps you to reach the conclusion really quickly. In fact both sides of your brain can be used effectively that helps you to think out of the box. This means that students can easily collaborate with the logic and analytics as well as the creative and imaginative part.
  2. Present ideas clearly: It is common for students to make a mess on the presentations. Mind map is also a good solution to present ideas more clearly and convey the message in the simplest form to the audience. Piles of notes on the screen can be tough when handling an audience and so use keywords and images to connect them. You can even number your points and give an idea about the quantity of topic to be covered to the audience. Mind map helps to frame the presentation in a more conversational way and make a good interactive session by making eye contact with the audience.
  1. Group study plans: Studying in groups can be really effective during exam times. Sitting alone and studying can be stressful especially during exams and group study can be more fun while you teach and learn from others. Mind maps can make the sessions more productive and interesting. Each one of you can create your mind maps during self study time and share it with others during group study. You can then form a new mind map by including the ideas and collective thoughts.
  1. Creative inspiration: This is one of the great ways to turn creative. Whether it is planning an essay, painting a picture or writing a story, the tough part is to get a good start. The working of mind map is more or less similar to a brain. So just start off with a word or image you think off in your mind by drawing it out. To the surprise, it can spark off numerous connecting ideas and turn your thought into an amazing art work. As thoughts flow freely, stepping out with novel and creative ideas seems really fun and easy. The tool lets you see the bigger picture of a concept or idea from a wider perspective that makes the job easy.
  1. Improved decision making: When it comes to deciding on some important areas of your school life, it could be tough when a number of concerns and possibilities are running at the back of your mind. Use the mind map and just draw off the possible pros and cons as well as your concerns or doubts when thinking about particular decision. You can clear it off one by one and strike it off when you have done with it. In this way, you can make decisions that are error free and that goes by all considerations.

There are different types of mind mapping tools designed by enthusiasts to help out students in the job that automates the process. You may choose from mind maps that can be used offline, online mind maps or mind map software.

Many of the reports have pointed out that the mind map approach can assist in their cognitive learning theory as well as enhance their reading comprehension.

Moreover, they can benefit from improved thinking and learning skills when the tool is used effectively. One of the main problems faced by students is to memorize what they have learnt. And interestingly, the mind map strategy is proving good to increase the retention rates.